“The stage of acceptance of the report will come later. The report was submitted to this court as per our orders. You [Gujarat] say whatever you have to say when the report is considered later,” the Chief Justice orally addressed the Gujarat side. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who said he was appearing for some of the “potential accused”, then objected to the move to share the Bedi report.
Asserting that the PIL petitioners had no locus standi, Mr. Dwivedi said the case would be prematurely prejudiced against the accused if the Supreme Court puts its seal on the report. He said the report was based on the merits of the encounter cases and a reflection on the alleged conduct and criminality of certain persons involved.
He said only the trial court could take cognisance of the Justice Bedi report. To this, Justice Gogoi retorted by asking Mr. Dwivedi whether he really wanted the apex court to send the report straightaway to the trial court for taking cognisance. In the previous hearing, Gujarat had objected to the report itself. It alleged that Justice Bedi had prepared the report without consulting the other members of the monitoring committee. The court responded by asking Justice Bedi to file a written response. It was on December 3 that a Bench led by Justice Gogoi had expressed the court’s resolve to hear the petitions filed by Mr. Akhtar and Mr. Verghese in 2007. The petitioners had sought a fair probe into the encounters.